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Full text of "A history of Persia"

210                   HISTORY OF PERSIA                  CHAP,
preserved, congratulates Tamerlane on his great victory
over the Turks. Both letters were conveyed by John
Greenlaw,1 an English Minorite or Friar Preacher who
was resident at Tabriz and is termed Archbishop John.
The Castilian Embassy to the Court of Samarcand.
—Henry III. of Castile, son-in-law of " time-honour'd
Lancaster," was noted for the embassies which he de-
spatched to remote parts of the world, chiefly, it is to
be supposed, with a view to forming alliances which should
act as a check on the Osmanlis and neighbouring Moslems,
but also with the purpose of extending the fame of Spain
and of gaining knowledge of other countries.
We learn that two of his envoys were present at the
battle of Angora, and that Tamerlane dismissed them
after his victory with an ambassador of his own, who
carried rich presents of jewels and fair women to the
King of Castile. In continuance of this diplomatic inter-
course Ruy Gonzalez di Clavijo2 was despatched to the
Court of Tamerlane on a second embassy in 1403. Thanks
to the careful diary of this trusty old knight, we possess
a vivid and most interesting contemporary account of the
Great Conqueror.
Starting from Cadiz, accompanied by the ambassador
whom Tamerlane had sent to the Court of Castile, the
travellers experienced danger from both storms and
currents, and upon reaching Rhodes were unable to
obtain any accurate information as to the whereabouts
of Tamerlane. They decided to make for Karabagh in
Azerbaijan, and in pursuance of this design landed at
Trebizond and proceeded by the well-known route to
the frontier town of Khoi. There they met ambassadors
from the Sultan of Egypt bearing gifts to Tamerlane,
among them being " a beast called Jornufaf . * . which
was a wonderful sight" ; and the two embassies travelled
eastwards together.
Clavijo describes  the beautiful  mosques   of Tabriz
*
1 Vide Original Letters illustrative of English History (third aeries, vol. i, pp, 54-58),
by Sir Henry Ellis. I have to thank Mr. A. G. Ellis for this reference.
3 Vtde Embassy to the Court of Tmour, translated by Sir Clements Markham
(Halcluyt Society).
a Giraffe.